Thursday, June 25, 2009

Top 10 Facts on Why Speaker Pelosi's National Energy Tax Is a Bad "Deal" for America

Democratic leaders have announced a so-called “deal” to bring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) national energy tax up for a House vote on Friday. Senior Democrats have already started to tout a number of trivial concessions and compromises that made this “deal” possible. But, the fact is, the consequences of this “deal” are no different from the consequences of the initial legislation introduced by Democrats earlier this year. It still amounts to jobs-killing policy that will increase costs for every American and will further harm our economy and American workers at a time when they can afford it least. Following are the Top 10 Facts about the House Democrats’ so-called “deal” to bring Speaker Pelosi’s national energy tax to the House floor later this week:

1. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Impose a National Energy Tax on Every Single American. If you drive a car, buy food or a product manufactured in America, or have the audacity to flip on a light switch, you’ll pay more under Speaker Pelosi’s national energy tax. Here’s what Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) had to say about the tax: “Nobody in this country realizes that cap and trade is a tax. And it’s a great big one.” And of course, President Obama agrees, saying that electricity rates will “skyrocket” under this scheme.

2. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Cost American Jobs, Shipping Them Overseas to China & India. According to a study by the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Speaker Pelosi’s national energy tax will cost 2.3 to 2.7 million jobs each year, even after the creation of new “green” jobs. It will impose tough new requirements and increased costs on American manufacturers – higher costs that they won’t face overseas, in places like China, India, or Mexico. This will cost American jobs in two ways: either domestic manufacturers will move overseas directly, or American companies in energy-intensive industries will be driven out of business by overseas rivals that undercut their prices. These job losses, and their ripple effects throughout our economy, were excluded from an incomplete analysis recently completed by the Congressional Budget Office. The Brookings Institute recently released a report that confirmed a national energy tax would reduce economic growth, increase costs, and kill jobs.

3. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Cause Electricity Bills to “Skyrocket.” Speaker Pelosi’s national energy tax will increase electricity bills for every American and small business. President Obama even admitted that it would cause electricity rates to “necessarily skyrocket.” And Duke Energy, a major utility company that would receive free allowances under the Democrats’ plan, has already requested a rate hike of 13.5 percent in anticipation of the energy tax.

4. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Hurt Family Farmers & Rural America. Rural Americans would be disproportionately impacted by this burdensome, jobs-killing tax. They travel 25 percent farther than urban residents to go to work and run errands. They spend 58 percent more on fuel than urban residents as a percentage of their income. And electricity is far more costly to deliver to rural households than to urban homes across America. The end result: if Speaker Pelosi’s national energy tax becomes law, family farmers and rural small businesses will pay much, much more. That’s why an increasing number of rural organizations are opposing this harmful policy.

5. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Not Improve the Environment. Even supporters of the national energy tax concede that unilateral American action will do nothing to improve Earth’s environment unless global competitors like China and India curb their emissions, too. The response from overseas? Don’t hold your breath. According to the Washington Post, “But, after their talk this week, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said China would not agree to reduce its emissions… Spokesman Qin Gang said…“[I]t is natural for China to have some increase in its emissions, so it is not possible for China in that context to accept a binding or compulsory target.’” And according to Xinhua News, Shyam Saran, India’s principal negotiator on climate change, discussed India’s reluctance to capping its greenhouse gas emissions, saying, “[W]e don’t want to announce targets which we have no intention of achieving.”

6. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Cause Gasoline and Diesel Prices to Spike Further. Gasoline prices have spiked in recent weeks, yet Speaker Pelosi’s national energy tax will make gasoline and diesel even more expensive for families and small businesses. The Heritage Foundation estimates that it will raise inflation-adjusted gasoline prices by 58 percent. Not only is that troubling to middle-class families trying to make ends meet, but small businesses – such as America’s truck drivers who are responsible for transporting food and other products across the country – are especially vulnerable during an economic recession. In fact, Tommy Hodges, First Vice Chairman of the American Trucking Association, recently warned that Speaker Pelosi’s national energy tax on America’s truck drivers will leave America’s truck drivers, exposed to dramatic and sudden fuel price spikes.

7. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Be A Bureaucratic Nightmare. Speaker Pelosi’s national energy tax is a bureaucratic nightmare that would create a slew of new government programs overseen by a long and confusing web of government agencies. At the center of this web is the Environmental Protection Agency along with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Commodities Future Trading Commission, the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Treasury, the Department of State, the Forest Service, the Fish & Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Geological Society, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Bureau of Land Management – all with a hand in taking and redistributing trillions of dollars from family budgets and workers payrolls.

8. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Send Billions of US Taxpayer Dollars Overseas. In addition to sending American jobs overseas, under Speaker Pelosi’s national energy tax, between 2012 and 2019, the United States will send $302 billion in taxpayers’ money directly to foreign countries for international offsets, international tropical deforestation, international adaptation, and international technology transfer. American taxpayers are tired of the bailouts. Why do Washington Democrats want to force them to bankroll another global bailout too?

9. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Raise Food Prices. Speaker Pelosi’s national energy tax will drive up costs for gasoline and energy used by farmers and businesses across the country. One of the most troubling results? The cost to produce and transport food will be driven higher than ever. The Heritage Foundation says “The cost of producing everything from wheat to beef will increase. Indeed, the price deflator for private farm inventories goes up over 20 points by 2035. This increase gets quickly translated into much higher food prices for consumers at the grocery stores.” During a severe recession and further job losses, is this really the news small businesses and middle-class families want to hear?

10. Speaker Pelosi’s National Energy Tax Will Set the Stage for Another Market Meltdown. Mother Jones recently warned that if Speaker Pelosi’s national energy tax “is signed into law, it will generate, almost as an afterthought, a new market for carbon derivatives. That market will be vast, complicated, and dauntingly difficult to monitor. And if Washington doesn’t get the rules right, it will be vulnerable to speculation and manipulation by the very same players who brought us the financial meltdown.” Taxpayers have paid dearly as a result of the financial crisis. Are Democrats setting them up to pay once again?

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